Module 1: Radiological Fundamentals
The positively charged atom and the negatively charged
electron are called an "ion pair."
Ionization should not be confused with radiation. Ions (or ion
pairs) produced as a result of the interaction of radiation with
an atom allow the detection of radiation.
EO4 Define ionization.
Ionizing radiation is energy (particles or rays) emitted from
radioactive atoms, and some devices, that can cause ionization.
Examples of devices that emit ionizing radiation are X-ray
machines, accelerators, and fluoroscopes.
It is important to note that exposure to ionizing radiation,
without exposure to radioactive material, will not result in
contamination of the worker.
EO4 Define ionizing
Radiation is a type of energy, and contamination is radioactive
material that is uncontained and in an unwanted place.
Electromagnetic radiation that doesn't have enough energy to
ionize an atom is called "non-ionizing radiation."
EO5 Distinguish between
ionizing radiation and non-
Examples of non-ionizing radiation are radar waves,
microwaves, and visible light.
The Four Basic Types of Ionizing Radiation
The four basic types of ionizing radiation of concern in the DOE
complex are alpha particles, beta particles, gamma or X rays, and
1) The alpha particle has a large mass and consists of two protons,
two neutrons, and no electrons.